With Darren McFadden and Rashad Jennings headed for free agency, the Oakland Raiders are soon going to need some help at running back. Even though they have an intriguing option on their roster, bringing aboard a sleeper like Kory Sheets certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Sheets, who went undrafted out of Purdue in 2009, has been playing in the CFL since failing out of the NFL in 2012. He was signed as undrafted rookie by the San Francisco 49ers and was eventually added to the practice squad. Midway through his rookie season, the Miami Dolphins plucked him off the 49ers practice squad.
A 2010 Achilles tear, though, forced him to fall out of favor in Miami, leading to him being waived. He came back with the Dolphins the next summer, but failed to recapture the spark he showed prior to the injury. He landed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders after his second release, and never looked back.
During his two seasons in the CFL, Sheets has shredded defenses left and right. Since joining the Roughriders, he’s amassed 2,875 rushing yards on 516 carries (5.6 yards per carry) while finding the end zone 23 times. Sheets has also asserted himself as a weapon out of the backfield, catching 86 passes for 781 yards and two touchdowns in the same time frame.
Known as a speedster with dangerous explosion, Sheets recently landed back on the NFL radar after earning the MVP of the Grey Cup, the CFL’s Super Bowl. He received a workout with the Indianapolis Colts, and also got an invite from the Raiders in late January.
Assuming everything went well during his workout in Oakland, Sheets seems like a perfect free agent option for the Raiders. Not only would he be cheap, but he’s coming off the best season of his professional football career and is just looking for an opportunity to get back into the NFL. He could compete with Jeremy Stewart, Latavius Murray and maybe an incoming draftee for touches during training camp.
Even if the Raiders signed Sheets as a role player who can also compete for kick returner duties, it’s hard to see either side not benefiting from a relationship.
Sheets will be eligible to sign with an NFL team on February 15, so look for the Raiders to make a move then.